Hunting Memories

Wyoming Cliffhanger

McGannon's buck measured 25 inches high and 21 inches wide with a gross B&C score of 166.
I thought you and your readers would get a kick out of the buck I took in September 2004 in Wyoming. I was hunting with my friends Kelly and Rick Miller of Double Diamond Outfitters, out of Afton.

We were hunting the rugged Salt Range in Western Wyoming. After climbing to over 10,000 feet, over nasty shale slides and off a very steep backside of this ridge, I got this very high buck to cautiously get out of his bed. While taking careful aim as he hadn't located me yet, I gently placed my crosshairs on his neck, released the safety, exhaled slightly and CLICK!

What the heck I thought? I cycled another round only to realize that the bolt was not catching the cartridge. I wrestled with my trigger housing, which had become loose and dropped about an 1/8 of an inch. After fumbling with this for what seemed like a very long time, I managed to get a shot as the buck trotted off. The first shot stopped him and the second hit him right behind the shoulder at about 175 yards. He went right down and from where he was, which was on top of a 15-foot shelf, I heard him stumble down and apparently land in a bunch of bushes.

When I finally got down to where he was, I couldn't believe how he ended up. My first shot hit him in the rear leg, breaking it. When he went down after the second shot he rolled down into a bunch of brush. The only thing stopping him from falling at least 1200 feet straight down was his broken leg! As you can see, he is literally laying at a 90-degree angle off this shelf. It made for an easy cape job. But getting him down off that slope was another story! We had to completely bone him out and pack him out in packs. At the bottom of this shale slope it was so steep that we had to lower the meat down in sacks as we had to scale down the 90-degree CLIFF. Ryan Merrit, my guide, and I just kept looking at each other, saying, "And we do this for fun?!?"

Submitted by John McGannon
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